Smart band-aid on the horizon
MASSACHUSETTS: Wearable electronics will revolutionise the way doctors diagnose and treat patients, according to researchers at MIT, who are developing stretchable hydrogels that share many of the same properties of human tissue. The polymer network Xuanhe Zhao, an associate professor of mechanical engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and his colleagues are developing make up a microscopic scaffold that endows bio-based hydrogels with special properties uncommon to synthetic hydrogels. It is highly stretchable and can adhere easily to surfaces. Zhao said, it is specifically designed to be compatible with the human body - both inside and out. That compatibility could potentially give rise to a new class of biomedical devices. “We embed electronic devices such as sensors, such as different drug delivery devices into this matrix to achieve what we call the smart applications,” said Zhao.